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May 19, 1989


JAMA. 1989;261(19):2867-2868. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420190143048

As in most specialties, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has changed ophthalmic practices and has begun to dominate our literature. Over the past few years, we have developed both an understanding of the natural history of the ocular complications of AIDS as well as some approaches to management of these problems. The ocular findings in AIDS take many forms. The most common will be reviewed here.

Kaposi's sarcoma, a previously rare ocular finding, can develop at any time during the course of a patient's illness. These bluish or red lesions occur on the eyelid or conjunctiva. When found on the conjunctiva they often resemble subconjunctival hemorrhages, and indeed some of them do have a hemorrhagic component. When the tumors cause pressure on the eye or interfere with eyelid closure, radiation therapy is helpful in reducing their size.

Cotton-wool spots are present in more than two thirds of patients during the